April 26, 2001
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: We'd like to thank Aaron Baddeley for joining us here in the media center for a few minutes, 5-under par, 67, great round today. Why don't you make a couple of comments about your round; then we will go into questions.
AARON BADDELEY: I guess tonight I was very relaxed out there. I felt very comfortable. I guess the conditions were really nice out there and that helped. I felt very comfortable on the golf course. I like the golf course. It sort of reminds me of my home course back home. And yeah, today I hit a lot of good iron shots and putted quite solid, so when you hit good iron shots and putt pretty well, that naturally means a pretty good score.
Q. This is your best start here in the States and did you feel something like this coming or did you all of a sudden something happened during the round that got you hot?
AARON BADDELEY: I guess last week I spent the week in Scottsdale back at my place there practicing and getting ready for this week, and I felt like each day I was improving. I felt like it was -- I was always just working on something with my coach, and just kept getting better and better. And then during this week I felt the same thing each day. I felt a little bit better and a little bit better and today I felt very comfortable out on the golf course I felt like I could hit both shapes left and right, right and left, so, it is definitely a good confidence booster today.
Q. What was your best moment, your best shot best feeling out there today?
AARON BADDELEY: Best tee shot was off 18. I bombed it down there and one of my best shots I think was on 14, I think -- is that after the par 5?
JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: Yes.
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, 14, hit a bit of a block-on into the rough and it was sort of sitting down and the pin was kind of back and I hit -- I said to my caddie: Let's try and land it on the front edge, roll it back there. That is exactly what I did, front edge, rolled back there to two foot. That was probably my best iron shot for the day.
Q. You have been waiting for a stat like this for a long time in America. What does it feel like? Is it relief? Excitement? What exactly?
AARON BADDELEY: I don't know really. It is just -- It just feels like where like -- I don't know, just I feel like it was going to happen and it is very nice that it has happened but this is only the first leg and hopefully tomorrow when I come out with the same mindset, very relaxed, and just try and shoot another 5-under or better.
Q. What do you think scores will do tomorrow?
AARON BADDELEY: I guess depending on the breeze, the course firmed up a little bit at the end there and I think scores will stay pretty much around the same, maybe a little -- maybe a half a shot higher.
Q. Had you been feeling yourself really more tense in starts over here versus in Australia?
AARON BADDELEY: A little bit. Actually a good -- my manager, Paul, he was just talking about Hilton Head and he said one thing that was really -- I tried to focus on a lot out there -- was that I seem to take more time in Australia behind the ball getting prepared for the shot. And it seems, he said, over here, seems like just I am just a little bit quick, just don't quite prepare properly, and that is what I did today out there, I just made sure I stayed behind; I focused; saw my shot; then went in and hit it. That worked very well today.
Q. Phil Mickelson is among your neighbors in Scottsdale?
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, Phil and I play a fair bit together out there. Actually it is always good fun to go out to his new course and have a money game and it is definitely good to be out playing on his new course, Whisper Rock and Greyhawk with the world's No. 2 golfer and be able to play with him as much as I can.
Q. You say "Money game." What kind of money are we talking about here?
AARON BADDELEY: Well, Phil says "Anything." I say what are we playing for? I don't care, anything, he says, but he has got a bit more money than I have got. We generally don't -- we play usually it is 20, 20, 40.
Q. How about your putting today because these greens are not the easiest to get acquainted with at first glance?
AARON BADDELEY: I felt very comfortable on the greens today. My home course back home has similar sort of greens with a little bit of bent and little bit of poa annua in it. I felt like I could read them very well out there and had the speed down pretty good too. So I felt very comfortable.
Q. Coming from Australia does the name Scott Simpson mean anything to you? Are you aware of Scott Simpson and what he has done in golf?
AARON BADDELEY: Yeah, I know that he won the NCAA twice, and going to U.C.L.A. college? No USC. And he won in his junior and senior year. He won the U.S. Open in 87.
JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: I think your test is over.
AARON BADDELEY: (Laughs).
Q. Why do you know so much about him? Are you a student of the game?
AARON BADDELEY: Well, on Tuesday I went to his testimony at the one of the clubs. I didn't know Scott up until -- personally up until Tuesday and he is a great guy and he seems -- it seems like he is starting to work a lot harder on his game than he has been in previous years, so it is good to see him playing well.
JOAN V.T. ALEXANDER: I think that is it.
End of FastScripts....